It is watermelon season and I don’t know about you but, I really enjoy watermelon. Maybe it’s my southern heritage. My mama was born in Water Valley, Mississippi, home of the 49th annual Watermelon Festival. Water Valley is located in the northwest portion of Mississippi just 50 miles south of Memphis
This little southern town of 3,700 people puts on a fantastic festival the first weekend of August with a little something for everyone. In addition to serving watermelon all day long, they sponsor the largest homegrown watermelon contest, watermelon seed spitting contest for young and old, watermelon eating contests for young and old, a 3K run with watermelon served to the participants as a refresher. Last month they crowned a beautiful Watermelon Queen, Miss Kristie Hartley, to reign over the festivities. The Lions Club sponsors their annual pancake breakfast, there’s fireworks, games, a car show, arts and crafts for the kiddos and so much more. Sadly, I cannot go to the festival this year but if you are nearby, it could just become one of your favorite festivals. For more information contact the Chamber of Commerce or check out their Facebook page. The dates for this year’s festival are August 2nd through August 4th don’t miss it!
Since I cannot go to the festival, I’m getting my watermelon fix with all kinds of watermelon treats. Ice cold out of the fridge is always the best but, one of my favorite ways to serve watermelon is this watermelon feta salad with fresh mint. It’s bright and fresh, the saltiness of the feta plays well with the sweetness of the melon and the mint perks everything up.
The only problem with this salad is it cannot be made too far ahead. I usually just cut everything up, layer it in my serving bowl, make the salad dressing, and then chill everything until time to serve. Then it’s just a quick toss to put the dressing on the salad and everyone enjoys a delightfully refreshing salad.
Watermelon Feta Salad with Fresh Mint
Makes 4 – 6 servings
- 3 pounds seedless watermelon, about half a small watermelon
- 1 small red onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint
- 3 ounces feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
- Cut the flesh from the watermelon into bite size pieces and place in serving bowl. I like to use a seedless watermelon for this salad. If you use a regular watermelon, you may want to pick out the seeds.
- Slice the onion as thinly as possible and separate into rings. I usually cut the rings into quarters if the onion is large.
- Remove mint leaves from stems and slice thinly.
- Cut Feta cheese into small cubes or you can crumble the cheese. I prefer the look of cubes.
- Sprinkle the onions, feta and mint on the top of the watermelon and place in the fridge until ready to serve. This can be done an hour before serving.
- In a small bowl, mix together the red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Then drizzle the olive oil into the vinegar while constantly whisking to make a thick emulsion.
- When ready to serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
This salad can be served family style or on individual plates. For individual servings, I like to line a plate with a few lettuce leaves.